From The New York Shitty Inbox, Part II: McGolrick Park, Worse Than Ever?

In an email addressed to Assemblyman Joseph Lentol’s office, the 94th Precinct’s Community Affairs Office, Brooklyn Parks Commissioner (Kevin Jeffrey), Community Board 1’s Parks Supervisor/Open Space Alliance North Brooklyn’s Executive Director (Stephanie Thayer); City Councilman Steve Levin’s office and 50th Assembly District Democratic Leader (Lincoln Restler), among others a lady named Holly writes today, July 2nd, 2012:

I am writing this as a follow-up to the December 9, 2011 meeting concerning conditions at McGolrick Park.  While it was said that a subsequent meeting would be held in April 2012 to readdress the issues presented, that of course never happened.  And now seven months later, McGolrick Park is in worse shape than ever.

I will try to keep this letter as brief as possible, because I am very tired. . . tired of constantly volunteering and fundraising for a park that is continually destroyed, tired of continually pointing out problems that need to be addressed only to have those concerns fall on deaf ears, tired of being forsaken by the Parks Department and local politicians (with the exception of Lincoln Restler) who obviously do not care about the well-being of the park itself and the community that surrounds it.

I am attaching pictures I took today of the degenerating conditions of the park, and they should speak for themselves, but I would like to make the following important points:

1) The middle entrance on Monitor Street between Nassau Ave. and Driggs Ave. has become a residence for local drunkards.  The area reeks of urine and alcohol and there are copious amounts of garbage and liquor bottles strewn about the area.  They have literally lived in that unmaintained, isolated “meadow” for the past two weeks.  It is disgusting and absolutely unacceptable. (Photos attached. I have taken the liberty of assembling them into a slide show which graces the beginning of this post. — Ed. Note.)

2) The benches at the center of the park have been destroyed for probably the tenth time since the December meeting.  Graffiti is rampant. The Belgium stone surrounding the Monitor statue has been vandalized. The bulletin board has been broken – again.  Garbage is openly thrown around the center of the park by the group of destructive and abusive teenagers that continue to haunt the center of the park.  (Photos attached.)

3) There are trip hazards throughout the park.  My group, The McGolrick Park Schools Alliance, donated and laid 1 ton of new top soil in the spring, filling in several of the larger trip hazards, but many remain.  The other day my 2 ½ year old son was running through one of the lawns and suddenly fell directly on his nose.  It was a large hole obscured by grass that made him fall.

4) Many people of this community blame the seasonal workers for the poor maintenance of the park.  It is true that you can often see these workers sitting in the shack or on the benches.  But let me be clear that the park workers are NOT to blame.  If they are not working to their full potential then it is only because they are not receiving sufficient supervision and guidance.  Moreover, after volunteering with some of these workers I was appalled to discover that they don’t have one functioning pincer and no work gloves – they have to buy their own safety supplies, and that is a travesty.  So I gave them a bag of work gloves which is apparently more than their employer is willing to do.  Also, I want you to be aware that these workers are verbally abused by aggressive teens and drunks on an almost daily basis.  These workers, who literally have to clean the shit of the park, are treated as such, and they are given no support or power to improve their working conditions/our park.  There should be a protocol put in place whereby workers are given the ability to call for police support at even the inkling of being threatened, or as soon as they see vagrants or vandals.

5) As has been true for years, the bathrooms of McGolrick Park are absolutely disgusting.  Parents resort to allowing their children to relieve themselves on the perimeters of the playground rather than risk exposing their kids to the horrible bathroom conditions.  This of course presents another set of health and safety issues.  Moreover, urine and feces from resident drunks can still be found/smelled throughout the park.

6) The center pavilion is in absolute disrepair.  Bird nests have destroyed the woodwork and so much graffiti has been haphazardly painted over that it looks atrocious.

7) I feel it should be known that following the December 9 meeting, and announcing that I would be starting a community group for McGolrick Park, I received a call from park officials “encouraging” me to work with The Friends of McGolrick instead of starting my own group (which would target children and families of our local schools).  In addition, I was told that any police reports concerning the park should be left to Morgan Pehme (Mr. Pehme is the head of the Friends of McGolrick Park Group— Ed. Note) to make.  So essentially, I was being asked to give up my fundamental rights as a citizen to accommodate the needs of others.  Thankfully, I stuck to my guns and refused to work with “The Friends” as I clearly knew from the start that the group was impotent.  To my knowledge they have not held one clean-up or community event within the park, and what is more infuriating is that they were handed $2500 from Exxon Mobil that has not been used or accounted for.  This is money that should have been used for the benefit of our park and community and no one knows where it has gone.

This will be the last time I will reach out to those civil servants who are responsible for maintaining the health, safety, and beauty of our local park.  I no longer wish to see my hard work and energy go down the drain because the people in charge just don’t care.  However, if you are a community member reading this letter and are as outraged as I am, please forward this to others, and contact those officials that this email is addressed to.  Tell them that you agree with these words – maybe then, someone will be held accountable and our park and neighborhood can change (back) for the better.

Holly

Here’s the deal, folks: Holly is not the only concerned citizen who is disgusted with the deteriorating state of this park. It was brought to my attention after last week’s Public Safety Committee meeting by a life-long Greenpoint resident and yet another parks patron has seen fit to do some documentation of her own. Her focus was on public defecation. Without further ado, here are her findings.

I honestly do not know what I can say that I have not said many times before— but I will do so (again) anyway. Until we as citizens, our civil servants and elected officials take up the matter of the homeless (and addiction) problem here honestly and realistically, I do not see anything changing. I was both saddened and disgusted when I happened upon a man who was clearly in need of medical help today in plain view of the McCarren Park Field House and the recently (re)opened pool. The latter of which, not surprisingly, has been receiving a great deal of police attention the last two days.

UPDATE, 6:51 p.m.: There appears to have been another incident at the McCarren Park Pool. Click here for Gothamist’s take.

UPDATE, 7:47 p.m.: Holly gets a response— and responds!

From The New York Shitty Inbox: A Dispatch From The McCarren Park Pool

A person we’ll call “E” writes (in an email entitled “McCarren Pool/Hot Tip!” at 6:33 p.m.):

the pool is lovely. up until the lifeguards tried to get someone to stop doing something. lifeguard jumped in the pool. another got pushed in. fracas! punches were thrown, not too many people involved. they kicked everyone out and closed the poop an hour early. 2 squad cars and 2 unmarked cars were on the scene. alas, no photos.

Interesting/relevant fact: We used to have a Parks Enforcement Police “PEP” Officer in our district. The powers-that-be got rid of him. Happy Friday.

UPDATE, 8:33 p.m.: Here’s the 411 per 94th Precinct’s Community Affairs office:

No riot… Just a fight involving 3 people and then a lifeguard tried to intervene (and) got hit by accident (no injuries).

Thus, the person witnesses saw taken away in an ambulance was a lifeguard— and the above missive from the 94th intimates his injuries were not severe. Does this mean this incident isn’t worrisome? It is. What transpired today raises (in my opinion) a very important question:

Exactly what IS the protocol at the McCarren Park Pool for handling emergencies— be it a fight, a medical emergency, accident, etc.?

Unlike McCarren Park (or any park here, for that matter) pool users probably do not have cell phones handy to call 911 if /when an emergency arises— so who does? Thoughts/information, anyone?

P.S.: While I am fairly certain “E” meant “pool” in the third sentence, it gave me an opportunity to share one of my favorite parts of Caddyshack (and there are many). Such is one of the perks of being one’s own editor.

P.S. #2: Why is it whenever something bad happens at McCarren Park it is located in Greenpoint?

I’d really like to know.

 

From The New York Shitty Inbox: On The Subject Of Greenpoint Parks

June 28, 2012 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

In the last 24— no, make that 12 hours— I have received not one, not two, but five Parks-related inquiries. For the sake of simplicity I am consolidating them in this post. Without further ado, here we go!

A chap we’ll call “C” writes:

hey heather
who’s responsible for the park at the end of manhattan ave? they haven’t emptied the trash in a while and it’s getting messy up there

I hear the pool is awesome! have you been?

Before I proceed to my answer I would like to share what I saw with my own eyes today at this precious piece of public space in north ‘Point.

Among the assorted rubbish you just saw, gentle readers, were:

  • A “weewee” pad (used)
  • Fireworks (which are illegal in New York City)
  • Empty beer and liquor bottles (alcohol consumption is prohibited in our public spaces)
  • A great many fast food/take out containers

The lattermost I suspect are the reason rats have been spotted here recently. (NOTE: C is not the only person who has complained to me about the filthy conditions at this park.). They, as well as their winged comrades (pigeons) and raccoons (which do inhabit the area) LOVE this stuff! The previous having been written:

I have yet to make it to the pool, C— although I have heard it is rather nice. What’s more, it is interesting that you bring the subject up. You see, our Parks Supervisor has allocated a great deal of her attention and manpower towards the opening of the McCarren Park Pool. In fact, one person counted around thirty Parks employees sprucing up the area in anticipation of our fair Mayor’s visit today. Not being terribly adept at multitasking, our Parks Supervisor seems to have overlooked/forgotten about the Manhattan Avenue Kayak Launch (This its proper name, so please take note. This will come in handy shortly.).

How do I bring this matter to the attention of the proper authorities?

you ask? Well, this is where it gets interesting! You see, “C”, north Brooklyn has been graced with a very special public private partnership. As a result, our Parks Supervisor (a New York City employee) is also the Executive Director of our local Parks Conservancy/watchdog group: Open Space Alliance North Brooklyn. This strikes yours truly as being tantamount to entrusting the fox to guard the hen house but a number of people find this not only arrangement acceptable, but desirable. But I digress.

What you need to do first is call 311 and complain! At the end of the call you will be assigned a complaint number. Write this down. Last step: write an email outlining the nature of the complaint, with the complaint number you were issued by 311 and send it to:

Stephanie Thayer, Administrator for North Brooklyn Parks – NYC Dept. of Parks & Recreation/Executive Director – Open Space Alliance for North Brooklyn (OSA):  Stephanie.Thayer@parks.nyc.gov

NOTE: While Ms. Thayer supervises all parks located in Community Board 1, Community Board 1 will NOT field complaints about our parks. They will simply forward them to Open Space Alliance North Brooklyn (of which, as you will recall, Ms. Thayer is also the Executive Director). With that option off the proverbial tables, here are a few folks you should copy on the aforementioned email:

Kevin Jeffrey, NYC Brooklyn Parks Borough Commissioner: Kevin.Jeffrey@parks.nyc.gov
Steve Levin, City Councilman 34th District: slevin@council.nyc.gov

And last— but hardly least— Assemblyman Joe Lentol (whose constituent services are TOPS)! Mr. Lentol has a handy online contact form which can be accessed here.

TIP: Be sure to emphasize the Kayak Launch’s present conditions are conducive to harboring vermin and that criminal activity is being practiced/has come to pass there. It has been my observation these things tend to get attention. NEXT QUESTION!

A person we’ll call “A” writes:

howdy heather. hope you are enjoying this lovely summer. i am emailing to see if you happen to have the lowdown on transmitter park. i am curious as to when it opens.

I have been asked this (excellent) question by three people. Per someone in the know, I have learned that while the pier will not be ready until this fall, the plan is to open the park  in June or July (so eager Greenpointers can legally enjoy it). Obviously this has yet to happen. My advice, send an email to above-listed civil servants and elected officials and demand an answer!

I hope this post has been helpful and informative, A and C. Please keep me updated on what happens!

New York Shitty Photos du Jour: HUMBUG!

Isn’t it refreshing to see our Parks Department is taking on the serious issues manifest in our precious few public spaces? Here’s what the tree’s creator, Julian Cole, has to say about this sad turn of events:

Hey Heather,

I just wanted to say a massive thank you for covering the Brooklyn Christmas Tree, I did it as a little side project and your posts really helped it get to a much wider audience. I was sad to learn they took it down but it was good fun process. I am planning to do more small projects about Williamsburg next year so I will make sure to keep you in the loop when I do.
Happy Christmas

So there have you. If I had to hazard a guess I’d say the amount of time and manpower it took to remove this piece of holiday cheer the Parks Department could have, should have (for example) purchased and installed one toilet seat at a women’s comfort station under their care. But there I go employing logic again. Logic as we citizens know it does not apply to our civil servants. Hence why after waiting over a month for our Parks Department to replace a toilet seat at Jaime Campiz Playground, I found it more logical (and expedient) to do it myself.

What makes McCarren Park— and this community in general— worth visiting (in my humble opinion) are the random acts of kindness (and yes, mischief) its citizens choose to bestow upon it. Mr. Cole’s Christmas tree is one such example. I for one (and mind you, I write this as an agnostic) think his was a lovely project. It amused and, more importantly, engaged our community. Yet it was removed— by those who purport to serve us.

On that note it should be Known, gentle readers, that our Parks Department wants your feedback as to what brings you to McCarren Park!

“Others” can make your voice “heard” herehere, and here.

Live From The Parks & Waterfront Committee Meeting

As I have intimated last night’s proceedings were rather contentious. Don’t take my word for it: seeing (and hearing) is believing. Enjoy!

Video 1: Dewey Thompson, Community Board 1 member, member of the Parks and Waterfront Committee kicks off the proceedings by explaining what OSA (of which, it should be noted, he is a board member and whose Executive Director also happens to be Community Board 1’s Parks Supervisor) does for north Brooklyn’s Park.

  • OSA is a conservancy not unlike Central Park or Prospect Park.
  • Mr. Thompson notes that concert/concession sales (as a result of this conservancy) will go exclusively to parks under OSA’s supervision. In other words: not into the general fund for all the city’s parks.
  • Mr. Thompson points out how OSA saved East River State Park from closing this winter.
  • Mr. Thompson notes that OSA got $330,300 in net profits (benefiting our parks) from the shows conducted last year at East River State Park. $200,000 of which went to East River State Park. That leaves $130,000 for all the parks in Community Board 1. Or as Mr. Thompson states “In Greenpoint and Williamsburg.” Make a note of this.
  • Per Mr. Thompson these concerts are delivering (and I quote) “Major value back to the community”.
  • Chairman Caponegro kicks off the Q & A session.
  • Facts: OSA employs 35-40 security people plus New York’s Finest versus 1,000 attendees.
  • Adam Perlmutter states in the interest of inclusiveness (my term) that there will be family-oriented entertainment and a “Latino show”. Among other things.

Video 2: Community Board Member (and Parks Subcommittee) Katie Naplatarski asks for some clarifications regarding weekend shows.

  • Ms. Thayer says there will be no Saturday or Sunday shows in July or August. Fridays are open.
  • A citizen speaks/complains. If she wanted to attend an East River State Park concert she can hear it from her building.
  • Ms. Thayer states it is not intent to upset the neighbors and mentions that she will be working with Officer Adamo (of the 94th Precinct) to have better policing after these concerts.
  • Another citizen notes the impact these concerts have with her neighbors and states that fifteen concerts in one summer are too many. She also notes what happened at her building when a storm hit and a mass exodus of people attempted to flood her building.
  • Yet another citizen speaks. She is VERY unhappy and likens the noise to an “x-ray” which permeates everything around her. (This is really worth watching.)
  • Caponegro speaks. Among other things he notes that OSA (or would that be 311? Or lack of complaints given to Community Board 1? This was a little unclear.) makes it seem like “no one complains”. The audience begs to differ.

Video 3: A lady named Sara asks “Why are we privatizing a park?”

  • Sara gives quick primer as to the provenance of East River State Park and reminds the representatives of OSA that East River State Park (at 7 acres) is not Central Park. Or Prospect Park. In other words: it does not have the space needed to host an event without displacing fellow park-goers.
  • Sara inquires as to how how much money OSA gives to East River State Park.
  • Sara points out the obvious: most people in north Brooklyn do not have a private backyard to enjoy. When they want to experience the outdoors it is done at our public’s parks. By closing off/monetizing East River State Park the Open Space Alliance is, in fact, denying a great many people access to open space.
  • A long-term Williamsburg resident makes it known that it was people such as himself who made north Brooklyn a desirable place to live. (This is VERY compelling stuff so do give it a listen. I cannot even begin to give it justice.)

Video 4: Del Teague, Community Board Member 1 Speaks

  • The most compelling part of this video (if you ask me) is when Ms. Teague points out that the owner of the Edge— who is apparently a supporter of OSA’s concerts— refused to allow distribution of fliers announcing this meeting.
  • Ms. Teague concurs that East River State Park is not appropriate venue for events of this scope.
  • Concerns about how neighboring properties— including affordable housing— will be impacted are raised.
  • These concerts/influx of concert goers are likened to an “invasion”.
  • Praise is given to Summer Starz and questions are raised as to when it will be scheduled this year. Apparently the organizers have been told Thursday evenings are not available.
  • Ms. Thayer replies that OSA is not done scheduling concerts (hence why East River State Park is not making Thursday evening available) and recommends that the weekends— or McGolrick Park— be used for this film series.
  • It is observed that the concerts are getting priority.
  • The specter of the Brooklyn Night Bazaar arises.
  • A recommendation is made that these concerts be conducted in the South Bronx. (What did they ever do to us? — Ed. Note)

Video 5: The Owner of Artists & Fleas Speaks

  • The owner of Artist and Fleas notes the absence of local business owners present and extols upon the benefits these concerts bring to local business.
  • A citizen presents an invoice showing the damage done to her car by a drunk driver who attended one of these concerts.
  • A woman opines that Brooklyn Brewery’s owner, Steve Hindy, benefits from these concerts— not the residents of said community.
  • It is intimated that Mr. Hindy has undue influence over our community.
  • Civil disobedience and a protest are suggested

Video 6: Steve Hindy Speaks

  • Mr. Hindy mentions his involvement with the Prospect Park Alliance and asserts neither he nor Brooklyn Brewery benefited from this relationship.
  • Mr. Hindy states a needs for fundraising for New York City’s parks.
  • Open Space Alliance is based upon the model of the Prospect Park Alliance.
  • Mr. Hindy gives a history of beer concessions at concerts. Both Brooklyn Brewery and Anheuser-Busch gave $50,000 upfront and all profits from beer sales were donated to Open Space Alliance.
  • Mr. Hindy gives a break-down of concert revenue: these netted $400,000 last year. $200,000 went to East River State park for upkeep and maintenance. $200,000 went to Open Space Alliance for operating costs including Ms. Thayer’s salary (which as of several years ago was ~$80,000 lest any of you are wondering. — Ed. Note.).
  • Mr. Hindy notes that if it was not for OSA’s efforts East River State Park would have been closed last winter.
  • Mr. Hindy tells the attendees present that if they “do not want us” he understands. An audience member replies “We want less of you.”
  • Ms. Thayer gives some additional details as to how revenue was tendered and spent at East River State Park. The parks of Greenpoint and Williamsburg get the remaining $130,000.
  • The amount of space these concerts take up— including pot-o-potties— and mentioned and a request for an annual report from OSA is made.
  • A Kent Avenue resident inquires what measures are being taken to mitigate the impact these concerts make on the surrounding community. Noise and garbage are specifically mentioned.

Video 7: A Northside resident speaks of public intoxication and urination.

  • A visual demonstration of the aforementioned behavior is given.
  • Another call is made as to what measure will be taken to mitigate the impact on the surrounding community. Chairman Caponegro notes that this question has been asked “all night”.
  • Adam Perlmutter of Open Space Alliance and OSA Presents states that he is glad this meeting is being conducted. (Somehow the rest of this footage has gone MIA. I will endeavor to find it. — Ed. Note)

Video 8: A Northside resident queries Ms. Thayer about his block being cordoned off.

  • He cites having problems parking on his block (Wythe Avenue at North 8 Street).
  • 94th Precinct Community Liaison answers this chap’s query. He states the block should not be barricaded unless a concert of letting out.
  • Ms. Thayer states that Wythe Avenue is open. This chap begs to differ.
  • The NAS concert was brought up. A woman states she saw a melee involving 30 people at North 9 Street afterward. She alleges the police ran away.
  • The need for more police presence is mentioned.
  • The question is raised as to how much money OSA spends on police patrols.
  • Mr. Adamo states that he does not have this information.
  • The question is raised as to who pays for this added police presence.

And then my memory— and wherewithal— ran out. Here’s what followed (not necessarily in chronological order):

  • A representative from Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz’s office spoke. Among other things she said he was a fan of musical events. She was shouted down.
  • Questions were raised— and not answered— regarding exactly how much money OSA/the Parks Department spend on police presence for these events (Once again: as opposed to the money raised and distributed so as to benefit our public parks. The more observant among you might have noticed even members of OSA cannot seem to be in agreement upon exactly what this figure is.).
  • Julie Lawrence, a member of Community Board 1 (and member of the Public Safety Committee) spoke. She implored for more transparency on the part of OSA.
  • Lincoln Restler spoke.
  • Chairman Caponegro made it clear that Community Board 1’s opinion is only advisory.
  • I left.

But onward it went. Here’s what one hanger-on had to say:

the committee meet with stephanie (Thayer — Ed. Note) & adam (Perlmutter — Ed. Note) sitting in …  katie (Naplatarski — Ed. Note)  looked like a force with being sure the community’s voice was heard … the resolution which aaron (Short — Ed. Note) will write up can’t really apply to this year … interestingly the committee chair did ask dewey (Thompson — Ed. Note) about him wearing many hats … don’t remember how he phrased … well put … i asked how someone could be on the task force and all you got to do is ask … from what i gather the main task is to hold osa accountable … it was a GREAT meeting … can’t wait for public safety …

New York Shitty Analysis/Commentary/Observations:

Since Community Board 1 does not have the power to place a ban on waterfront concerts at East River State Park I am not going to belabor the manner. What’s more, what transpired at last night’s meeting was not really about concerts at all. Rather, it is the growing pains of a community in transition. The battle ground (so to speak) in this case were our public parks (and to whom they belong). The answer is simple: all of us.

Inasmuch as the folks of OSA would fancy themselves as being inclusive the fact of the matter is they are not. Their events are of very limited appeal to the older, long-term — and yes— diverse residents of North Brooklyn. If they (Open Space Alliance) were forthright about who their target demographic is (20 – 30 something, younger, newer residents) at least they would have been honest and everyone— like it or not— would be on the “same page”. But this is not the case. In this respect I find touting one “Latino show” as an overture to be disingenuous at best.

Above all, I came away from last night’s meeting reminded of the serious (and depressing) disconnect there is between OSA and the older residents of the community. The latter made their grievances (like the delivery or not) and questions quite clear. In return OSA did not provide answers. Rather, they kept re-stating the same facts (and in the case of actual money raised/distributed were somewhat contradictory) and stuck to the same sales pitch. This was— and is— in no way conducive to a productive dialogue with the community OSA purports to serve. Sadly, this does seem to be their modus operandi. I am of the distinct opinion it is just this pattern of behavior which made this meeting of the minds necessary in the first place.

Here’s the deal: north Brooklyn’s public spaces belong to just that: the public. No one organization— especially those ostensibly raising money for park space and advocating on the public’s behalf* — is more important than any another other group of citizens. But it would seem that OSA is getting preferential treatment.

The chap in that third video (John Ricco, owner of Grandma Rose’s) is right: it is people such as him who have made Greenpoint and Williamsburg a place where people like them— and myself— want to live. These concerts would not be happening if this neighborhood had not been shaped by people like him. For this reason he and people like him have my utmost respect and admiration. In fact, I consider myself honored to be their neighbor. It would be nice if Open Space Alliance would follow suit. If I had to recommend a first step I would say some empathy, transparency, solid answers and yes, respect— not sales pitches— on their part would be a good start.

Miss Heather

*and in my opinion concerts are an incredibly poor way to raise money: $130,000 or even $200,000 spread over the entirety of north Brooklyn’s parks is a pittance.

New York Shitty Day Ender: From The Parks & Waterfront Subcommittee Meeting

As the above missives would indicate it was— and I am told still is— a very lively evening at the Swinging 60’s Seniors Center tonight. I did not stay for the whole affair (Sorry folks, but two hours of shouting and Ms. Thayer seemingly being unable to comprehend what nuance of the “discussion” was* is enough for yours truly. At least on six hours of sleep.) However, I did shoot footage of the first “half” and you can look forward to seeing it here, so check back!

In the meantime, here are a few teasers from before the meeting.

They were just getting warmed up, folks!

Miss Heather

*READ: Quality of life issues arising as a result of these concerts and questions about what the costs of said concerts are versus their benefits. Ms, Thayer seemed to have some problems comprehending this and extolled upon the manifold ways OSA contributes to the betterment of parks in north Brooklyn. Community Board 1 Parks Chair Camponegro put it best when he said:

She’s doing her OSA spiel again.

New York Shitty Day Starter: The American Playground

March 26, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

Kicking off this sunny— if brisk— weekend I present to you this bit of leisure time captured at the American Playground yesterday.

For those of you who are wondering, the area adjacent to 49 Noble Street is still cordoned off due to falling debris. For those of you keeping track this makes over three months and counting.

It would appear, however, that some kind of detritus catcher has been put in place. What can we expect in the way of action to follow this most auspicious development?

If this (from the Department of Buildings web site) is any indication, I’d say not much.

Miss Heather

New York Shitty Video du Jour: Notice of Eviction

February 15, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

As I have mentioned previously, earlier today I attended Lincoln Restler’s Notice of Eviction press release at 65 Commercial Street. Without further ado here is the footage. Enjoy!

Miss Heather

American Playground Watch: Before & After

January 3, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

On December 30, 2010 our Parks person wrote:

…We are doing all possible with the resources at hand.   Right now, Mother Nature giving a few sunny, non-freezing days would be the most helpful thing possible.

On January 1, 2011 Miss Heather writes (on the Community Board 1 Yahoo Group):

Today I saw a tractor cleaning up the sidewalk in front of Jerzy Popieluszko Square and a group of sullen Parks employees with a truck equipped with a plow at McGolrick Park. One employee was complaining on her cell phone that it was cold. Perhaps when our Parks advocate(s) are done pontificating/congratulating themselves and/or making excuses they could see fit to send these people/equipment my direction?

It would appear that Mother Nature not only gave us a few days of mercifully temperate weather but also a snow plow. Thank you, Mother Nature!

Miss Heather

Spotted At Father Jerzy Popieluszko Square: Snow Removal

I know, it seems incredible but I’ll swear on a stack of Bibles/Talmuds/Korans/Telephone Phone Books— whatever you want— it’s true! Better yet, why not watch for yourself. Seeing is believing!

Perhaps when our Parks Person is done lavishing a little love on Bedford Avenue she could send this guy over to the American Playground? It’s a mess.

But this is not to suggest there isn’t humor to be found here: there most assuredly is! Many of you might recall a portion of this playground has been vacated by the Department of Buildings due to falling debris from an adjacent building. To this end (and in the interest of public safety) a barricade has been put in place. For those of you who are wondering: as of today it is still there.*

The owner of 49 Noble Street (the property in question) may be taking his sweet time to address his decaying building…

but at least he has seen fit to clean his sidewalk! This begs the question as to why our Parks Department has not done the same. No worries, dear readers, I will let our Parks Person herself tender an explanation.

So there have you.

Miss Heather

*Anyone care to place bets how long it will be in place?

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